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Ford Escape Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2008 to 2012 Ford Escape SUV with picture illustrated steps.

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2011 Escape Front Wheel
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Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Raise Vehicle - Remove Nuts

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012) Ford Escape SUV in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of other Ford, Lincoln, Mercury or related Mazda vehicles such as the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Mustang, Edge, Explorer, C-Max, Expedition, F-150, E-150, E-350 Wagon, Flex, Transit Connect, MKZ, MKX, MKS, MKT, Milan, Grand Marquis, Mariner, Mountaineer, Navigator, and Mazda Tribute may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this front brake job include the following: tire iron, floor jack, jack stands, flathead screwdriver, 7mm Allen key or hex socket, and a "C" clamp.

A few compatible aftermarket front brake pad sets include the following with their part numbers: ACDelco 14D1047C or 17D1047AC, Raybestos PGD1047C or SGD1047C, Akebono ACT1047, Bendix D1047CT, Monroe CX1047, Motorcraft BRF-1047 or BRF-1400, Bosch BC1047 or Power Stop 16-1047.

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Five Lug Nuts Removed
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Front Brake Caliper & Rotor
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Pry Off Brake Caliper Clip
The first two steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then slightly loosen the five lug nuts with the tire iron, raise the front of the vehicle and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Spin off the five lug nuts and pull off the front wheel to reveal the front brake caliper, bracket and rotor.

Gently pry off the anti-rattle spring clip that is attached to the outer edge of the caliper with a flathead screwdriver.

Be careful since the spring clip can fly off and hit you in the face or become lost.

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Metal Caliper Clip Removed
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Rubber Caliper Bolt Covers
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Remove Plastic Bolt Caps
To access the two caliper bolts on the back side of the caliper, you'll first need to pull out the black plastic caps at the end of the rubber dust boots.
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Lower Bolt Cap Removed
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7mm Allen Key Hex Bolt
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Husky Hex Set - Home Depot
Most second generation Escape SUVs require a 7mm hex head socket or "Allen Key" wrench to remove the front caliper bolts. Some model years or related vehicles such as the Mercury Mariner or Mazda Tribute may require a 9mm hex head socket or wrench.

Both the 7mm and 9mm sized hex head sockets or wrenches can be difficult to find at auto parts stores or other retail stores such as Sears and Wal-Mart. One person on a forum claimed to have found a 7mm hex head socket at an Advance Auto Parts store. If possible, order a set of hex head sockets including the 7mm and 9mm sizes online ahead of time.

Although I would have preferred sockets to use with my torque wrench, I found a 13 piece set of Husky brand hex head "Allen Key" style wrenches at Home Depot for about $12 that included the 7mm and 9mm sizes. The model number of the set is Husky # 32205 and the Home Depot SKU # is  691478.

If you are really in a pinch, some people have reported success with grinding down a 5/16" hex head socket to fit in the caliper bolts since it is relatively close to 7mm at 7.94mm.

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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Hex Bolt
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
Insert the 7mm hex head wrench or socket in to the upper caliper "guide bolt" and loosen it by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

Spin out the bolt and set it aside in a safe place.

(Most cars I've worked on, including other Ford models, are equipped with more traditional separate caliper bolts and caliper slider pins. The Escape and other Ford SUVs such as the Expedition have caliper fasteners that combine the two pieces and are known as a "caliper bolt/pin" or "caliper guide bolt".)

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Spin Out Upper 7mm Bolt
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Remove Upper Bolt
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Prying Out Stubborn Bolt
Remove the lower caliper guide bolt and set it aside with the other bolt.

If you have trouble removing either of the caliper bolts, use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry it out of its bolt hole.

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Lower Caliper Bolt Removed
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Clip, Caps & Bolts
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
Pull the brake caliper off the rotor and carefully rest it on the suspension without stressing the brake fluid line.



 

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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Remove Inner Pad
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Remove Outer Pad
Pull the old inner brake pad out of the caliper piston.

The old outer pad may have stayed in the bracket or it may be stuck to the caliper. Remove it and set it aside near by since you will need it to compress the caliper piston.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled.

If your vehicle exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, just remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

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Attach "C" Clamp
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Remove Brake Fluid Cap
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Slowly Compress Piston
Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper piston using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure.

Move to the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap. Removing the cap allows the brake fluid to more easily travel backwards through the system when you compress the piston.

Slowly compress the caliper piston with the "C" clamp while repeatedly checking the brake fluid level in the reservoir to prevent it from overflowing. Clean up any brake fluid spills immediately since brake fluid can easily damage painted surfaces.

Compress the piston until it is flush with its rubber dust boot.

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Install New Inner Pad
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Insert New Outer Pad
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Replace Brake Caliper
Install the new inner pad by pushing the prongs on the rear of the pad in to the caliper piston.

Insert the new outer pad in to the caliper bracket and push it flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new outer pad and on to the rotor. 

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Lubricate Caliper Pin/Bolt
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Thread In Caliper Bolts
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Tighten Upper 7mm Bolt
In order for the brake caliper to work properly, the two guide bolts/pins need to be well lubricated. Apply some disc brake lube or "caliper pin grease" to both bolts.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with the holes in the bracket and slide in the two greased guide bolts.

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Tighten Lower Bolt
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Torque Caliper Bolts
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Replace Upper Cap
Tighten the upper and lower caliper bolts to just past hand tight.

If you have a hex head socket and torque wrench, tighten the bolts to either 26 ft lbs for a front disc / rear drum brakes model or 33 ft lbs for a vehicle with four wheel disc brakes.

Double check that both of the caliper guide bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Push In Lower Plastic Cap
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Line Up Caliper Spring Clip
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Pop On Caliper Clip
Replace the two black plastic caps that cover the end of the rubber dust boots.

Press the silver metal caliper spring clip on to the outside of the caliper until it pops in to place.

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Spring Clip Replaced
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and add or remove some if necessary to bring it to the proper level. Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Front Wheel
If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain some air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Vehicle From Stands
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Torque 5 Lug Nuts
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands with the floor jack until the front tire holds some of the vehicle's weight.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern until they are about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to about 75-100 ft lbs of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times to restore brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, please check out my other Ford Escape Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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